It's not about an ugly fence -- it's about an over-obsessive stalker
Some writers manage to demonstrate an incredible gift for missing anything even resembling the point.
Cue Washington Post columnist Adrian Higgins, whose most recent offering is an insipid op/ed entitled "Sarah Palin's fence didn't have to be so ugly".
Right. Because that's what the entire affair is about: an ugly fence.
Apparently, it isn't about an over-obsessive author-turned-stalker who lacked the judgement to recognize that moving in next door to the subject of his most recent book so he could spy on her private life was an unethical idea, even if the neighbour offered to rent him the property.
No. Apparently, the entire matter is about an ugly fence.
This is apparently the absurdity that the American left-wing media has sunk to in this ongoing TMZ moment: suggesting that Palin simply could have planted some really tall hedges if she wanted to protect her family's privacy from the prying eyes of McGinniss.
As it turns out, there very much is something about Sarah Palin that drives the American left into these absurd corners. It seems they need to make this entire affair about the fence, and Higgins has gone to Andrew Sullivan-esque lengths of reputation self-destruction in order to justify it.
If these were rational people, they would recognize that McGinniss' invasion of Palin's privacy is beneath contempt, and would recognize that their lame defenses of it are likewise.
But there's something about Palin that renders these people utterly incapable of rationality. Their defenses of the entire affair would be better not justified with response if it weren't for the fact that rubbing the noses of such individuals in their own stupidity wasn't actually a public service (Andrew Sullivan, a whole lot of people are looking your way right about now -- and not just Bill Maher).
Of course, the American left can do what they will. It won't salvage Joe McGinniss' reputation -- which has been reduced to just a few notches above the level of Herbert from Family Guy.
They would be doing themselves a service if they stopped allowing their own reputations to be dragged under right alongside it -- but this is something that the mania Sarah Palin inspires in them will not allow them to do.